Come play Monday morning QB on my actions

Ajax

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I was with a student doing pattern work at a small class D airport. We were number two and cleared for the option. My presolo student, very near to solo was flying. He came in hot on final and we floated about 2000 ft down the 7100 ft runway. Upon touchdown my student raised the flaps, and added full power for the touch and go. At rotation speed ATC calls us and tells us to exit the runway at a taxiway about 500 ft ahead. I assumed it was for someone else so I informed tower we were on the go after our option. Tower called back "Negative, traffic, King Air 2 mile final opposite direction, LAND SIR" Capitalization used to emphasize tower's tone.

At this point we were maybe 10-15 ft above the runway, I looked up and had no visual on the traffic. I estimate that we had 4,000ft of runway left when I told my student "My airplane". I pulled power and firmly put the plane down on the runway, using somewhat heavy brakes I cleared the runway at the end.

As we were taxiing back to the departure end of the runway I see the King Air overhead on either a low approach or an ATC directed go around. Tower, another person working the frequency this time, calls me up and thanks me for helping them out. Tower mentioned that they were not talking to the King Air.

After I departed I got my turn out and went back to our home airport. One of the tower supervisors is a friend of mine and I have flown with him a few times, so I called him and asked if he knew what happened to cause it and what I could have done better beforehand to prevent a possible situation. He said that he wasn't in the tower and would review the tapes.

After analyzing it on the ground with my boss I determined I had two options

Option 1: Call unable and continue the takeoff, attempt to look for traffic and sidestep off of centerline. The problem was that I had no visual on traffic and couldn't assure that I would maintain clear of him.

Option 2: Take control and put the plane down, attempting to stop the plane on the runway. If I wasn't able to stop on the remaining runway I could risk injury and airplane damage taking it off the edge.

Obviously nothing happened other than hot brakes and my increased heartrate. I did fill out a NASA ASRS on the flight, and on discussion with the tower supervisor I relayed my concerns that if it was a student pilot on a solo we may have had bent metal or worse.

Debriefing with my student, along with his normal debrief, we critiqued my actions taking the airplane and stopping on the remaining runway, and discussed what he would have done if he was solo.

Now, many of you guys have more time in jets or instructing than I do total, so please be honest. What would you have done and what could I have done better?

Edit: I will say that I was somewhat hesitant to post this here, but I figured I could definitely learn from your opinions and others may benefit too.
 

Cessnaflyer

Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Remember you are the PIC and solely responsible to what happens with operation of that aircraft.
 

Ajax

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Remember you are the PIC and solely responsible to what happens with operation of that aircraft.
Yes, and in my view neither situation is completely ideal however I like my options on the runway environment rather than in the air with a bigger aircraft approaching without being in my sight.
 

TFaudree_ERAU

Mashin' dem buttons
Now, many of you guys have more time in jets or instructing than I do total, so please be honest.
In a jet, there's no question...I'm continuing the takeoff. "Setting it back down" is not something you do unless the airplane is unflyable. If anything, yank and bank it so that you're at least 30 or so degrees off the runway heading to avoid the opposite direction traffic.
 

Boris Badenov

He comes to save the day in a broken truck.
4000ft is plenty to stop a cessna. You done good. That said, it does seem like someone who wasn't you screwed up somewhere, and I share your concerns about "what it if it had been a solo student".

That said, although I'm sure it felt like it, I don't think you were exactly Seconds From Disaster. If you'd said "unable" and continued your departure, I imagine they'd have sent the Kingair around, and I don't think you're in any danger of catching him in the climb.
 

ScoutFlyer

Well-Known Member
It sounds like you handled the situation appropriately.

Hopefully, your friend in the tower can shed some insight on what occurred to cause the situation to begin with. If the controllers knew that you would not be able to takeoff again due to traffic, it would have been prudent for them to advise you of this prior to making the initial landing since you were "cleared for the option."
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
At rotation speed ATC calls us and tells us to exit the runway at a taxiway about 500 ft ahead. I assumed it was for someone else so I informed tower we were on the go after our option. Tower called back "Negative, traffic, King Air 2 mile final opposite direction, LAND SIR" Capitalization used to emphasize tower's tone.
I don't calculate an accelerate - stop distance in singles, but other than a glider, nothing I fly will stop 500' after rotation. I don't like being a test pilot. If the airplane is flyable, I'm committed to the takeoff.

You weren't going to be able to comply with the 500' turnoff anyway, so a quick "Unable! Suggest departure heading?" would probably have served everyone better.

The King Air is probably smart enough to know NOT to land if he was cleared for the approach, but hasn't been able to reach the tower.

The tower can't make you full stop once they have cleared you otherwise. They can't tell you not to go missed. All things considered, your risk of a mid air is nil when you know where the traffic is 2 miles away.
 

Prino

Well-Known Member
Probably would have Been easier to get a few feet altitude and turned crosswind. Only separation requirement act has in delta airspace is runway separation. Also, not sure why they did not know about the opposite direction traffic beyond 2 miles out.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
To the OP: You didn't bend or damage the aircraft, and you were able to write this. Looks like the decision worked out. Quick analysis and put the plan in motion.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
Who cares about the King Air? The controller can send them around. If they don't send them around, you can turn a quick crosswind.

Controllers make requests, pilots make decisions.

EDIT TO ADD: Also, I don't mean to say that you can't stop in the remaining distance. I've been in a similar situation before where I had a panel pop open in a piston twin right around rotation speed. Could I have taken off and simply returned to close the panel? Sure, why not, but I stopped because I had a ton of distance remaining. I guess the point is more that you should do what YOU need to do to be safe, not what the controller wants you to do because it's easier for them. Can you stop in 4,000' and you think it's safe to do so? Sure, go ahead and do it. But if you eyeball the remaining distance and you've got any question about whether you can stop or not, go ahead and take it in the air and let the controller send the King Air around, or in the alternative sidestep away from the runway and/or turn crosswind early.
 

ljg

Well-Known Member
I thought after DCA a little while ago, ATC was not authorized to do opposite direction arrivals to prevent a loss of separation. Good job filing a NASA rep. I think you also did a great job for your student debriefing the actions you took. You made a decision and flew the airplane to minimize risk. In that manner, everything you did was exellent.

What decision was best? I don't know - you could crunch the numbers on closure times between Cessnas and King Airs at two miles. It probably isn't enough for the Cessna to putter up to 400' to make a SAFE turn clear of obstacles. You certainly could maneuver as necessary to not hit stuff, but who wants to do that? 4000' is well within the ALD of the Cessna and your rotation and approach speeds are very similar.

In a jet, as TFaudree said, there's not a decision at that point...you are going.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
I'm less experienced than you, but I think you did the right thing. Yes PIC makes the decision for the safe operation of the aircraft, but if the controller is asking for something with that sense of urgency there is probably a good reason for it. 4,000' is enough to land and take off again, so land.

For those who missed it in the OP: Tower mentioned that they were not talking to the King Air.

In other words, they were not able to send him around.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
Right, so the safest place to be is on the runway, not flying head on into traffic 200' agl that you cannot maintain visual separation with.
 

rframe

pǝʇɹǝʌuı
Had a guy in Cherokee plow down the ILS opposite a few planes (including ours) that were working the pattern at our local class E the other day. Now I have no problem with that in general, we all need practice, but this asshat wasn't even on CTAF and didn't even turn on his landing light. We picked him up as we were climbing out through about 100' AGL and side stepped him. Friggin idiot.
 
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